Saturday, March 5, 2016

Trump: "I want Ted, One on One!"

Donald Trump clearly relishes competition, or at least competition when he is winning. He sees the primaries as an exercise in machismo where trash talk is just as important as political positioning. So we have "Little Marco" and "Lying Ted." Tonight, he congratulated Ted Cruz on winning Maine and then quipped that this was no surprise since Maine was right next to Canada.

Trump called for Marco Rubio and John Kasich to leave the race. This is notable because conventional wisdom has it that having all the other Republicans drop out now is the only way Trump can be defeated.

But Trump did it anyway.

Some have branded Trump a "phony." But I think this gets it wrong. In a sense, on a personal level at least, he's the least phony man in the race. Or so it might seem with this sort of example.

Can Cruz beat Trump if the other candidates drop out? I'm not sure. Cruz won more delegates than Trump tonight and is now only 83 behind, a gap that mathematically can easily be closed, given the big winner-take-all contests coming up in the next week--Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio. But I think it's still unclear whether Rubio and Kasich votes will go to Cruz. And then there are the states where Trump's totals may be swelled by Democrats crossing over.

Predictit has Trump at 65% and Cruz at 23%. That puts Trump back up almost to where he was before tonight. (As I reported a few hours ago, Trump had earlier dipped to 51%.)

I assume this is because the market predicts that Rubio and Kasich will not drop out--at least before Florida and Ohio. But it also may be that the market believes that the vaunted Trump "ceiling" of 40% or whatever is a myth.

What is clear after tonight is that Cruz is the only other man with any chance. If the thing is to stop Trump, then Rubio and Kasich must get out now.

But whatever happens, the Republican "establishment" seems to have lost, finally after twenty-eight years. Trump and Cruz are hated by it for different reasons. The real tragedy for conservatives or Republicans will be if the prigs in the party--Mitt Romney being the leading example--make baby noises about brokered conventions or third parties.

Can a conservative like Cruz or a quasi-conservative like Trump win in November? I don't know. But I do know that a non-conservative will lose. Even against the Wicked Witch of the West.

When was the last time an establishment Republican won the first-term of a presidency? Hoover?

Okay, the Bushes. But HW was coasting on Reagan. And W didn't win outright. He needed help.

For obvious reasons, Antonin Scalia won't be able to help this time. At least not in that way.   


  1. Only Trump can beat Hillary but only if establishment Republicans get on his bandwagon. Note: Establishment Republicans are closet Democrats.

    1. "Only Trump..."


      A bit of the Trump Kool Aid there??

  2. Absolutely Michael!! No way on God's green earth will Cruz beat Hillary. The 'establishment' has put all their money on Rubio to no avail. And that tirade on Trump from Romney I do believe will only back fire.....from 'Mr Establishment' himself. This whole earthquake has been set off because conservatives are sick and tired of the 'establishment' putting a knife in their back for decades now. I'm no Trump supporter, but if the establishment tries to broker the Convention and it gets ugly, they are handing the nomination over to Hillary, by essentially imploding the Party. Biting off their nose to spite their face.

  3. Oh and BTW....the establishment isn't so very fond of Cruz either. Looks like they're between a rock and a hard place.

  4. Only Cruz provides an alternative to statism. Trump is a statist. While he may not have been on the Washington side of the statist equation, he has been part of that equation.

    1. Trump is not a "statist". Sanders and Clinton are "Statists". Trump is a fascist. He is the most dangerous man running for President I have ever seen. He is the "republican" version of generalissimo Obama. Law is what he says it is after he's eaten his morning cereal and read the comics.

      I don't think our constitutional democracy survives him, if elected. Game over.

    2. You have it dead-bang correct.

  5. Cruz is merely playing the role of "tea party candidate." Check is connections to Bush and the Goldman Sachs crowd ( If he by some miracle pulls off the upset and gets in, he'll betray his base faster than you can say New World Order. It's not even a question. But that's assuming this godless country would even elect him based on his tea party sounding rhetoric (which I don't believe is sincere for a second, unfortunately).

    Trump can be either real good or real bad. Chances are real bad, but there's a small chance he's really wanting to do good for the country and doesn't morph into a tool for the elites or an insane dictator.

    Methinks we're probably screwed either way, but I'll roll the dice on Trump as it stands now.

    1. Cruz's entire political career has been built on standing against the establishment, advocating for the precise policies of his current Presidential campaign. He has done everything he has promised against the current of establishment politicians. He has a record that means a lot more than a liberal web site's biased hit piece.

      Then there is Donald Trump who has a record; a very pathetic and sordid record n business. His anger and propensity toward violence are deeply unsettling. And he appears to view government through the lense of Trumpish dictatorship rather than through veneration of divided constitutional government and compromise.

      This was most succinctly demonstrated when he doubled down on his proposal to use torture as official U.S. policy and to go after non-combatants as well. Then dismissing honorable servicemen who object to such illegal orders with a blithe wave of his venerable hand and a sarcastic comment, "no one will refuse MY orders, believe me".

      Cruz is a statesman. He has a 100% consistent political record. Trump is an orange faced angry mouth, and he is scary dangerous.

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  7. Let's start at the top. The only (R) candidate who gets the Party nomination is the one who has 1,327 delegates in the pocket.

    Game it out: if Rubio and Kasich remain in the race and get some delegates (along with Cruz's) The Donald-Fascist does NOT have those delegates, thus is further from 1,327.

    That's why he's rolling the dice on taking out Cruz head-to-head.

    1. Trump only needs to win 54% of the remaining 1,585 delegates. With 750 of those delegates being assigned in winner-take-all states, then Trump can easily do it. The idea is that Rubio and Kasich will be strong enough to take away some of Cruz's support but not strong enough to win a state, thus Trump will win most of the winner-take-alls. I believe Trump is ahead in most of them including Florida, and I suspect Kasich will fade in Ohio.

    2. Oakes. Exactly. Kasich would be a good running mate for Trump. I wouldn't be surprised if this was trial-ballooned soon. It would tend to let the Ohio voters have it booth ways.

      March 7, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    3. I hate people who run to be a running mate. Talk about low ambition.

    4. According to AP, 1,237 delegates are required to win the nomination outright. Currently Trump has 384. Cruz has 300. Trump needs 853, (69%). Cruz needs 937, (76%). It appears to me a close contest between these two so far.

      But I find it interesting that opinion polls and Drudge Report headlines and media narratives all have Trump winning by a landslide. The reality, so far, is much different. Cruz is sneaking up on him handily. And this in the face of solid, unified Trump support against a divided opposition.

      There are many pleasant scenarios in which Trump does not gain 1,237 outright. And given his detestable public persona, I cannot believe he can rally the nation behind a clean Convention, Middle America marching happily behind the copyrighted Trump banner to nominate THIS man for THESE times.

      It's going to be ugly. We will see who is the statesman in the end, and who is something else.

    5. Thx for the correction on delegate count. Minor dyslexia here...

      While T may "only" need another 853, they will be harder to get b/c all the remaining primaries are in "closed" States--no (D) crossovers allowed any more.

      Note that The Donald failed miserably in caucus States and does not do well in "closed" states to date.

  8. If it goes to convention Trump wins. Establishment dislikes Cruz more. Rubio, the establishment candidate, will diminish Cruz insurgency by staying in for the long haul.